Although the names of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile receive an outpouring of national attention and sympathy, Jeremy Dole’ life and death needs to stay acknowledged as a Black Male killed by police. The family and friends of Jeremy Dole continue to wait for justice. McDole, confined to a wheelchair, was shot to death by three White and an Hispanic Wilmington police officers on September 23, 2015.
A 911 operator received a call from a female stating that a man in a wheelchair had shot himself and was waving a gun. After the killing, the officers claimed a gun was found under his body. Although the killing was recorded on a cellphone and posted on youtube, no gun can be seen. The Delaware Attorney General, Matt Denns’ office would not prosecute the police officers admitting that the main reason why no officers were charged in the death of Mr. McDole was because the law enabling police to shoot first and face no consequences is so broadly written that its virtually impossible to charge police in any shooting and that Delaware is a state that essentially immunes law enforcement officers from criminal responsibility when they use deadly force in the face of a perceived threat. All the officers must show is that he/she believed that to be the case at the time that he/she used deadly force, whether that belief was reasonable or unreasonable.
Attorney General Denn did criticize in his report that the Wilmington Police Department has serious training deficiencies regarding use of force policy and training with individuals with mental illness, disabilities or cognitive impairments. There was also strong repudiation against one of the officers, Senior Corporal Dellose’s conduct in immediately confronting Mr. McDole rather than communicating with the other three officers already on the scene. Further, that Officer Dellose should not be employed in any role where he would be carrying a firearm.
The report of Attorney General, Matt Denn will aid in bringing a federal lawsuit against Wilmington and the Police Department according to leading legal experts.